I don’t love that I can google my Mom’s name and her obituary, that I wrote, pops up.
I don’t like the number 9 either. She died in September, the ninth month, on the ninth day of the month when she was 59 years old.
I miss her.
I was telling Craig exactly this the other night. I just miss her. I feel like she’s been on a really long vacation, or something? And it’s been long enough, thankyouverymuch, and now I’d really like to talk to her.
It’s that simple and impossible. Grief isn’t logical. Ever.
But, fresh grief and accustomed grief become immediate allies; we both long for what was.
I want to tell her about how Lila wanted a Lionel Richie-themed birthday party (!!!), but how she’s settling on a rainbows and unicorn theme. (We’ll save the Lionel Party for another birthday.) I want to tell her that Vivienne can now swim backwards and float on her back. I want to tell her about my little life changes that are making me happy.
I feel good.
I feel happy.
I feel like my life, like my “new normal*” (*stupidest phrase ever) is getting more normal-er. I feel like I’m not just getting by anymore. I’m living again.
I’m waking up in the morning and I’m happy [most of the time] and I’m inspired and I’m full.
I’m grateful again.
I have so much to be grateful for.
I know that these feelings are directly related to the time I’ve been spending on grieving and growing after her loss.
I would do anything to see her again.
I would give my hair just to hug her; to smell her; to share a meal with her.
I would do anything to call her phone number, wait, and have her answer.
I want her to tell me what she thinks of what I’m doing after years of answering, “NO, Mom. I don’t want you to tell me what you think.”
(I smile as I type that. She’d always ask, “Do you want to know what I think?” I’d respond with, “No.” And then she’d tell me. As every Mom can.)
I still have the moments when someething happens and I pause… and I realize… I don’t have anyone to tell.
I mean, of course I have people I could tell; but she’s the only person I’d want to tell.
And let’s face it; she’s the only one who wants to hear.
After one year and nine months I can say this:
Losing my Mom has been the single-most life changing experience of my entire life; more than marriage, more than pregnancy, more than becoming a parent.
Before she died, I didn’t fully comprehend the end.
The end means it’s over.
The end means that’s it.
The end means NO MORE.
The relationship that once was; will never be again. Ever.
Only in your dreams.
Months ago this was more than I could bear. Just typing or reading that took my breath away. I couldn’t register it, let alone accept it. The idea that our relationship was DONE would bring forth a piercing of my heart that I could physically feel and that would ignite hours of guttural weeping.
But today I have built a new relationship with her; or maybe it’s better to say, I’ve built a new relationship around her. My daughters know her through me. And they always will. I think of her at least 15 times a day. I think of her when I’m cooking something that she cooked; when I laugh; when I see a commercial. I thought of her today when I saw someone on FB playing scrabble on a real scrabble board like what she had. (She had the official Scrabble Dictionary, too.)
I will keep her alive through my memories, through my stories. Through these blog posts.
Take this with you, friends: when someone you know experiences a death, it’s ok to say their name. The memory and the energy and the love that they had for their loved one doesn’t go away when the person dies; instead it needs to be redirect it into healing… and talking about them is healing.
I am healing because I talk about her.
I am healing because so many of you ask me about her; you tell me about your experiences. You share with me, you cry with me.
Death is awkward at best, and I appreciate and love all of you who have taken one for the team and have talked about something that’s uncomfortable for you because it’s what I need.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
The other day Vivi ran to grab her backpack after school and brought me something that she found on the playground: a feather.
Yesterday Lila was outside. She RAN into the house and presented me with a feather and said… “Mommy. I was running and look! This. Nana was just with me.”
We’ve built a new relationship, around her.
So, I’ve survived 638 days without talking to my Mom.
I survived two Christmases. The first was horrendous. The second was joyful.
I’ve survived what would have been her 60th and 61st birthdays.
I turned 35 without her singing.
And I’m ok.
I’m even happy.
And that is exactly what she would want.
You guys, my Mom was so cool.
|Lila’s most recent feather, or shall I say, my Mom’s.|
—The Story of Loss. On Losing my Mom.
September 30, 2013 :: Slivers of Sunlight :: Post here.
October 6, 2013 :: That first week.Those first days :: Post here.
October 14, 2013 :: 14 days after :: Post here.
October 20, 2013 :: I found a treasure :: Post here.
November 4, 2013 :: She’s been gone for 4 weeks :: Post here.
November 13, 2013 :: I smile and drive and cry and smile and cry :: Post here.
November 17, 2013 :: Weekends aren’t easy :: Post here.
November 26, 2013 :: The holidays, the firsts :: Post here.
December 1, 2013 :: 8 weeks :: Post here.
December 10, 2013 :: The Dream :: Post here.
December 19, 2013 :: Vulnerability and Moving Forward :: Post here.
December 22, 2013 :: The reminders. They’re everywhere :: Post here.
December 29, 2013 :: 2013 :: Post here.
January 1, 2014 :: The New Year :: Post here.
January 7, 2014 :: 2 days from 4 months :: Post here.
January 17, 2014 :: Another Gift :: Post here.
January 25, 2014 :: She would have been 60 today :: Post here.
February 9, 2014 :: Five months :: Post here.
March 6, 2014 :: Almost six months :: Post here.
March 27, 2014 :: One of the Best Gifts Ever :: Post here.
April 1, 2014 :: We’re all in this together :: Post here.
April 24, 2014 :: 7 Months, Easter and Nope, I’m still not normal. :: Post here.
May 6, 2014 :: Mother’s Day without a Mom :: Post here.
June 1, 2014 :: Moving “forward” :: Post here.
July 6, 2014 :: Denial & acceptance & blah, blah, blah :: Post here.
August 20, 2014 :: So, I’m 35 :: Post here.
September 2, 2014 :: 7 days :: Post here.
September 8, 2014 :: The Day Before a Year :: Post here.
September 9, 2014 :: Hello, one year :: Post here.
October 11, 2014 :: The brain is funny :: Post here.
November 6, 2014 :: Love :: Post here.
November 30, 2014 :: Post here.
December 4, 2014 :: Another feather. Post here.
December 28, 2014 :: All was calm, all is bright. Post here.
January 18, 2015 :: They’re always with us? They’re always with us. Post here.
January 25, 2015 :: And today I remember. Post here.
March 8, 2015 :: A year and a half later. Post here.
April 16, 2015 :: And here I stand. Post here.
April 29, 2015 :: Joan & Shirley. Post here.